Interactions between endocrine and circadian systems

    1. Henrik Oster1,2
    1. 1Circadian Rhythms Group, Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Göttingen, Germany
      2Chronophysiology Group, Medical Department I, University of Lübeck, Ratzeburger Allee 160, 23538 Lübeck, Germany
      3School of Medicine, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
    1. Correspondence should be addressed to H Oster; Email: henrik.oster{at}


    In most species, endogenous circadian clocks regulate 24-h rhythms of behavior and physiology. Clock disruption has been associated with decreased cognitive performance and increased propensity to develop obesity, diabetes, and cancer. Many hormonal factors show robust diurnal secretion rhythms, some of which are involved in mediating clock output from the brain to peripheral tissues. In this review, we describe the mechanisms of clock–hormone interaction in mammals, the contribution of different tissue oscillators to hormonal regulation, and how changes in circadian timing impinge on endocrine signalling and downstream processes. We further summarize recent findings suggesting that hormonal signals may feed back on circadian regulation and how this crosstalk interferes with physiological and metabolic homeostasis.

    • Revision received 22 August 2013
    • Accepted 29 August 2013
    • Made available online as an Accepted Preprint 30 August 2013
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